Well November has blown past, and in a few weeks 2012 will be in the history books. I tell you, the years are going by way too fast for me. Before I know it, I’ll be shuffling around in elastic waist pants, welcoming people to Wal Mart.
In a few short days, I’ll make my pilgrimage up to the mountain state, not alone this time, as Thanksgiving is the one time a year I can twist Darlings arm into joining me. We’ll cook, eat, shop, and catch up with friends and family for a few days before heading home to dive into the Christmas seasons. We’ve already put up the trees…the 12 footer in the great room, the 9 footer in the living room, 7 foot skinny trees in the dining and morning rooms, a 4 footer in the kitchen, and enough lights outside to merit a thank you card from the power company. A handful of gifts have been purchased, but much is still to be done in that department.
While we spend the bulk of our time with my dad and his side of the family, we won’t be able to get out of town without a visit to Mama. Her calls have been less frequent of late…she’s “got her hands full” taking care of my grandmother. (AKA, overstaying her welcome at her house.) Add to that, she is beside herself that I invited her sister to my Halloween party a few weeks back. Let me back up here…
Mama and her sister used to be very close. As kids, we spent every spring break at my aunt’s house (my aunt is the only member of mama’s immediate family who doesn’t still live within 5 miles of where they grew up.), and often a week during the summer as well. When my aunt came home to visit, she and mama would go shopping together, or out on the town with their husbands together. Talk on the phone at least once a week, that kinda thing. You know, like sisters are supposed to.
Well, those days are gone. One can only take so much of Mama, you know. Mama thinks that, according to the internet and Emily Post, every material item should be passed to the eldest daughter, and that no one else is deserving of attention. Example..after my grandfather passed in the late 80s, my grandmother decided to give her girls some jewelry she no longer wore. She gave my aunt her engagement ring, and mama got Grandma’s “mother’s” ring. Neither piece likely has much real value, its all sentimental. But, in mama’s mind, I guess, she should have gotten both of them. This wasn’t an issue for 20 years, but three or four years ago, she decided it was, made some unpleasant phone calls, and well, that was probably the straw that broke the camels back. Mama and Auntie are pleasant enough to each other during family visits now, but they don’t call each other up to say hi anymore.
Now, you can imagine, Mama being shacked up at Granny’s doesn’t sit well with anyone. And Mama apparently pressed Auntie, by text, for specifics on WHY it didn’t sit well. And after a few attempts at being polite, Mama pressed on, and Auntie finally texted her a list that could have been written by anyone who has spent a few minutes here at The Vinyl Village.
Of course, thats not how mama presented it to me. In Mama’s version, she was blindsided by the conversation, the list came from out of the blue. And, despite being able to read all the texts she’s ever gotten, she just couldn’t make out the words on that particular one, so had to forward it down to my aunt-in-laws “so they could read it to me.” (IE: lets spread it around, maybe someone will pretend Im the victim here.” ) So after rattling off this list, which included the truths that Mama is neither sound of mind nor body, unreliable, self serving, chain smoking poster child for elimination of Government entitlement programs, Mama gasped “Can you believe that?”
I tread carefully. “Now, can’t you objectively see where she’s coming from? After all, you’ve been “disabled” for how long? And taking care of someone elderly is undoubtedly a job.”
“I aint been divorced four times!!” was the only bullet she could refute.
“That was probably a typo. The three and the four are right next to each other.” I offered.
“Well you wouldn’t have invited her had you known what she said about your mommy.”
“Yes I would have. That’s your beef, not mine. And if you’d calm down, I think you’d see her point. Would you hire someone to take care of Granny with your track record?”
“Im trained in this!”
A nursing class two decades ago hardly qualifies, in my mind, as training.
“But you’re “disabled”.”
“I can do it!”
“Than you should have been doing it for the last decade for a paycheck.”
“Well I didn’t deserve that from her! Im a good person.” (Recall that Mama sounds like a Stuart Smalley skit when talking about herself.)
“OK, well I have a meeting to go to…I’ll talk to you later.”
That was a few weeks ago, and aside from one phone call to give me her new cell number (the third one she’s had this year.) and a brief hello when I called to talk to my Grandmother, she’s been blessedly silent. Maybe she’ll have her usual holiday time amoebic dysenteri coupled with a migraine and menstrual cramps and Darling will be spared a visit.